FIT MOMS MAKE FIT BABIES
"Physical health is not a commodity to be bargained for. Nor can it be swallowed in form of a drugs and pills. It has to be earned through sweat”– BKS Iyenger
At a prenatal fitness conference by Strollerstrides in San Diego CA, James F. Clapp III MD, Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Biology at Case Western Reserve University, and Research Professor of OB/GYN at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, spoke of his research on prenatal fitness. Some still unpublished studies. His conclsuion is that -"Exercise in pregnancy augments the woman's body for fetal and maternal protection." But that exercise volume matters. The more a pregnant woman is able to exercise the better off she and her baby will be in the long term. Higher volume (HV) and intensity exercise ( Cardiovascular and weight training exercise for 3+ workouts a week for 40+ minutes duration) produce more and longer term benefits than low volume (LV) exercise (yoga, swimming,..) and moms who quit exercising half way through a pregnancy will have no benefits and may be worse off weight wise, than if she didn't exercise at all.
Maternal Benefits: HV exercise reduces back aches, depression, weight gain, fat deposting, edema, injuries, obstetrical complications, labor time, medical intervention (forceps/vacume ), C-section rates (by 75%), recovery time, moreso than LV exercise. HV exercise reduces weight gain and fat depositing than non-exercisers, but LV exercise doesn't. There is a substantial reduction in pregnancy depression and postpartum depression for those moms that continue to exercise immediatly post baby. Dr. Clapp found that depression sores from Obstetrical complications, and that exercise reduces obstetrical complications, thus reducing the likelyhood of postpartum depression. @ 1-5 years after baby, the HV exercising moms had much lower bodyfat, rates of incontinence, muscle pain, and no diastasis (abdominal separation) and higher Cardiovascular fitness levels than non exercisers. The LV exercising moms experienced most of these benefits, but retained a much higher body fat percentage. At 18-20 years post baby, the HV exercising moms again fared much better than LV or non-exercising moms.
Baby's Benefits: Fit moms have no increase in misscarriage, ectopic, twin pregnancy, still birth, congenital malformations, or placental abruptions. "Fit Babies" have less fetal distress, meconium, cord entanglements, abnormalities and better Apgar scores at birth. Fit babies are of normal growth, with a leaner body mass (less fat), more relaxed, with better neurological development, environmental orientation and self regulating, This means, a happier, calmer baby that sleeps better at night. A baby's morphometrics can be "molded" with exercise and diet. At 5 years of age, the fit children have normal growth, neurological development, academic and motor skills, blood pressure and body weight, but increased IQ and verbal skills. At 17-19 years, the fit children have average to super academic performance, are super athletes, with normal growth, insuline levels, low body fat and blood pressure. In addition, even though pregnant women may not lie still on your back, it is fine to exercise on your back during pregnancy, and exercise should be resumed no later than 2-3 weeks postpartum. Nov. 6, 2006
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